Paris and Berlin plans for EU threatened as bloc to take ‘years’ to take leading role

EU ‘will take several years to assert itself’ says expert

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Political commentator Jonathan Fryer has blown a hole in Germany and France’s hopes to lead on the future direction of the European Union as he insists it will be “several years” before the bloc is able to assert itself onto the global stage. Mr Fryer joined former MP George Galloway to analyse the plans of Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel’s successor to steer the direction of the bloc. In a further blow to the European Union, the Liberal Democrat also talked down attempts by Brussels to navigate a united foreign and security approach. 

Speaking on Narcissi LTD, Mr Fryer said: “Of course, Angela Merkel, who has been the sort of mother of Europe for the last decade and a half is going to seise being Chancellor of Germany beginning of next year.

“We now know who her successor will be, a fairly centrist figure who will keep more or less the same sort of policies.

“I think we will see France and Germany asserting themselves as the lead motors in the European Union.

“But we have to bear in mind that there are countries who are, shall we say, being difficult.”

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“Hungary, Poland for example. Potentially Italy perhaps, but certainly Hungary and Poland who are challenging some of the basic tenants of the European Union,” he continued.

“So I think it is going to take several years before the EU is really able to assert itself.

“Least of all, able to assert itself on common foreign and security policy,

“Which has been a long-dreamed-of goal but is far from being achieved as yet.”

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Mr Galloway asked: “Will German and French policy always be in line?”

Mr Fryer replied: “I don’t think they will, no, largely because French foreign policy is increasingly assertive in large parts of Africa and other parts of the world.

“It is veering away from the German approach which is much more neutral.

“They do not get indirectly involved in situations.

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“So I think it is going to be a real challenge, particularly if Macron stays for another term as President.”

Mr Galloway said: “Do you think he will?”

Mr Fryer responded: “I think he is going to find it difficult to win the election next time.”

Earlier this week Michel Barnier warned President Macron that Frexit could happen if the same “sentiments” that played a role in Brexit are left unaddressed in France.

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